Sunday in Outer Blogness: Happy 2014 Edition!
In that vein, we’ll be voting this week on the William Law X-Mormon of the Year 2013, and the Brodies will begin as well! Some other LDS-interest sites have already started their awards cycles — it’s still not too late to vote for Roger Hansen’s Nobel-prize winning brother!
It looks like the big highlight of 2013 was advances for marriage equality — the latest especially heartfelt for those of us with a connection to Utah. (And organized attempts to straighten gay people are evaporating.)
In scripture study, NoCoolNameTom is not the only one following this year’s Old Testament / PoGP gospel doctrine lessons — Daniel Midgley is also doing a Gospel Doctrine for the Godless! And is off to a good start:
The Old Testament: Wow, it really is that bad.
The Old Testament is a work of cruelty, discrimination, misogyny, and homophobia. Its protagonist, a primitive Hebrew deity, is largely concerned with cementing his own reputation as a major player in the world pantheon, while caring surprisingly little for human well-being. Despite being (allegedly) all-powerful and all-good, he allows (and in some cases, encourages) a shocking array of atrocities, including rape, child-murder, and genocide. If the Bible were any other book, it would carry a warning sticker.
The fact that the events of the Old Testament are largely fictional hardly mitigates its barbarism, since Christians all over the world routinely defend its contents, and are shocked, angered, or disappointed to be informed that they have no factual basis in reality.
I hope they both succeed in doing a whole year of this — why should the believers get all of the Gospel-Doctrine class fun? The Bible has all sorts of helpful advice for us — try some of these 114 Bible-based New Year’s Resolutions for 2014!! (Plus blogging tips from the Book of Mormon!)
Meanwhile, the official website of the CoJCoL-dS has decided to tackle polygamy, and has officially admitted to some of the facts that used to be “anti-Mormon” to mention — with mixed results, kind of like the translation admissions. And speaking of the CoJCoLd-S, here’s what to do if you stop believing in Mormonism at BYU. Also, if they’re going to keep reciting that “15 million” statistic, they might consider being honest about what it represents. Imagine if one day they got real about the power structure of the early church.
The American Atheists convention — coming to SLC in April — is already causing controversy with billboards! I wish I could attend, yet — in true atheist fashion — I refuse to refrain from criticizing remarks from fellow atheists, in this case Dave Silverman:
Our message is this: If you donâ€™t believe anymore, donâ€™t continue to base your identity in Mormonism. Youâ€™re so much more than an â€˜ex-Mormonâ€™; youâ€™re an atheist.
As you guys are all fully aware, we get enough crap from the believers about how we need to leave Mormonism alone (I should be linking these to FAQ. Is there any job more thankless than portraying Mormonism without advertising for it?)
I say base your identity in what you think is relevant to your identity. You can call yourself “ex-Mormon” (or not) or atheist or agnostic or Humanist or Buddhist or whatever terms you think best describe where you’re at. And while it’s great to consider advice from people you respect (David Silverman, perhaps), your identity is your own to define. (On a related note, I like this post arguing that wanting to understand women’s experiences is more important than whether or not you choose to identify with the term “feminist”.)
Guys, let’s make 2014 a fantastic year!! Let it be the year we do something real about climate change — for all humanity’s kids — not to mention poverty and justice. Let’s think beyond what we can buy towards what we can do, to see if we can carry this precious species of ours into the future!! No pressure, though. 😉